LM NEWS 24
LM NEWS 24

UK Sends Naval Ship, Announces Support For Maritime Aid Boost For Gaza

Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the UK government announced military and civilian support to set up a maritime aid corridor to Gaza, including the deployment of a navy ship to join the lifesaving mission in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a press release, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said, “The UK Government is today announcing a package of military and civilian support to set up a maritime aid corridor to Gaza, including the deployment of a Royal Navy ship to join the life-saving mission in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“The ship, alongside new UK aid and British expertise, will support the establishment of an international humanitarian maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza, supported by many of our partner governments and the UN, and is expected to be operational in early May,” it added.

Apart from deploying navy ship, the UK government also committed to provide aid deliveries worth up to £9.7 million, equipment support to the corridor, like forklift trucks and storage units and expertise, to maximise the levels of aid reaching those people who desperately need it.

In the press release, the UK government said that it is doing everything possible to get more aid into Gaza by air, land and sea. It further said that the Royal Air Force conducted five airdrops along the coastline of Gaza, safely delivering over 40 tonnes of food supplies, including water, flour and baby formula.

The UK government said that it continues to call for an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire as the fastest way to get hostages safely home. According to the press release, land deliveries in Gaza will be scaled up with the opening of the Erez crossing, which the UK wants to see reopened permanently.

In a press release, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said, “Supporting the Jordanian humanitarian land corridor from Amman into Gaza and in partnership with the World Food Programme, the UK’s largest delivery of aid crossed the border on 13 March which saw more than 2,000 tonnes of food aid being distributed on the ground to families in need.”

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron has called the situation in Gaza “dire” and the prospect of famine “real”. He said that UK remains committed to getting aid to those who desperately need it.

“The situation in Gaza is dire and the prospect of famine is real. We remain committed to getting aid to those who so desperately need it. Along with the US, Cyprus and other partners, we are setting up a new temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to get aid in as quickly and securely as possible,” Cameron said in the release.

He called land access crucial to delivering aid at the scale now required. He stated that the opening of Erez and the Port of Ashdod is hugely welcome and something the UK has long been calling for.

Cameron noted that Israel has agreed to increase the number of aid trucks entering Gaza to a minimum of 500 a day. He further said, “We need to continue to explore all options, including by sea and air, to ease the desperate plight of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Meanwhile, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said, “A Royal Navy ship is now en-route to the Eastern Mediterranean to support international efforts to get life-saving aid to Gaza.”

Shapps said armed forces are playing a central role in delivering aid, with the Royal Air Force conducting five airdrops of food supplies for the people of Gaza.

He added, “We are now going further, working with international partners to set up a humanitarian maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza. A new temporary pier on the coast of Gaza will be critical to supporting these efforts, by hosting cargo ships to deliver aid by sea.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations humanitarian aid chief called the war in Gaza a “betrayal of humanity” as the war between Israel and Hamas is reaching its six-month mark, CNN reported.

In a statement shared on X, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, marked the “terrible milestone.”

He stated, “Rarely has there been such global outrage at the toll of conflict, with seemingly so little done to end it and instead so much impunity.”

He said a moment of remembrance and mourning is “not enough,” and instead urged for a “reckoning” as the people of Gaza face “death, devastation and now the immediate prospect of a shameful man-made famine,” according to CNN report.

He expressed grave concerns over the “already fragile” aid operation in Gaza, which is continually undermined by bombardments, insecurity and a lack of access, CNN reported.

Griffiths said, “On this day, my heart goes out to the families of those killed, injured or taken hostage, and to those who face the particular suffering of not knowing the plight of their loved ones.”

His statement comes after a week that saw the death toll in Gaza exceed 33,000 and an Israeli strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid workers.

The IDF termed the incident as a ‘grave mistake’. (ANI)

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